Fun Yet Functional Ceramics by Melanie Dyel
Melanie Sunshine Dyel discovered her artistic side unexpectedly when she relocated from Long Island, NY, to Asheville at the age of 28. It was then that she received a gift certificate for a pottery class in the River Arts District.
This creative environment inspired her to explore her own artistic potential. Although she had always wanted to try pottery, she never imagined actually pursuing it.
The pottery class turned out to be the best present she’d ever been given. From day one, Melanie was captivated by clay. Admittedly, it was challenging at first, but she was determined to succeed. Within a few days, her creativity flourished, and she couldn’t wait to transform her ideas into tangible clay creations.
Melanie primarily uses North Carolina stoneware clay and a few basic tools for her work. She draws inspiration from the natural beauty of the mountains and her coastal memories from Long Island.
Her handmade glaze choices often evoke the gentle ebb and flow of ocean waves. Additionally, her past experience working in a bakery and decorating with icing has led her to incorporate slip trailing designs into her pottery. Slip, a mixture of clay and water, achieves a consistency similar to icing and is applied using a bulb with a fine tip.
Melanie takes pleasure in crafting functional pieces that can be utilized daily. Her studio, connected to a gallery space, allows her to interact with those who appreciate her art. Seeing their delight when they find a piece they love brings her immense joy and encourages her to continue creating.
Pottery has become a grounding and calming force in Melanie’s life, especially after becoming a mother ten months ago. While working at her wheel, she feels as if she’s entered another realm where the worries of the present, past, and future dissolve, leaving her completely present in the moment.
If you are interested in seeing our collection of Melanie’s great pottery (and “test-driving” one her mugs), we invite you to come by Mountain Made Art Gallery, in downtown Asheville.